A World With a Pencil

As a kid,

I liked to draw with a pencil

I put all my fears in a graphite tip

And turned myself into a great king

With palaces along the beach,

A bullet-proof limousine beyond reach,

 A furious dog no one could approach.

My pencil was so light and so fast

To imagine and reimagine a life with no limit.

Stylish stars and shining spaces

Bring delight so big to my little heart.


As an adult,

All my dreams were erased, brushed off

Like rubbery dust from a copybook;

I stranded like an outcast.

My sore soul surrendered in disgust.

My cold cottage inside the miserable Karyan

Was shared with four skinny hens, an old fisherman,

A cat chasing a rat,

And a mother with a broken heart.

It was an affront to my pride

To spend my formative years as a helpless and unpromising child.


They say it was written and ordered

That my pencil broke into pieces;

My dreams faded under the midday sun

I, a new son of the lost Beat Generation,

Stood up with no zeal to draw or paint.

As tall as a palm tree,

With zero chance to be free,

I stood up, I stood up

 With my broken pencil in hand

To write on every street wall

My last declaration:

“I am…

I am…

I am a man

Who filled his empty days

With pencil drawings and long walks;

Who now owns nothing

But the wind, the broken pencil,

And an empty belly full of crap.”


One freezing early morning,

I took my drawings in my backpack and tore up my middle school degree;

I kissed my mother’s head, turned my back

Upon the cottage, and headed towards Tangiers port.

Damnation and renunciation are my laws;

Boldness, defiance, and eagerness become new mottoes.

I determined either to die in this paper-thin boat

Or shine like a boy’s pure dream on the Spanish coast.


~Mohamed Mahou

Agadir, Morocco


  1. Richard Kahn

    We need to write ourselves in ink.

  2. Mahou lahoussine

    Macha Allah Mr Mahou vous êtes un écrivain agréable
    Bonne chance

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